photo credit: Rachel Lerro
If you’ve ever been asked to connect your phone to the bluetooth speaker and DJ at a party, you know that all it takes is one misplaced Celine Dion song to make the whole thing super awkward (and lose any future DJ privileges). We’ve found that the same is true for restaurants. You could be having a totally enjoyable meal, but as soon as you get one or two bad plates, the rest of the meal is tainted. Noord is one of those cases.
Noord is a Danish BYOB located in a small corner building in East Passyunk that only has about 15 tables, along with a good amount of sidewalk seating, and it’s a nice place to hang out. They have big windows that they open up when it’s warm, and while it’s mostly a dinner spot, Noord also does a Sunday brunch that we like, except for the fact that we always forget it’s BYOB and end up drinking virgin mimosas.
photo credit: Robery Moysman
When it comes to food, Noord does a few things really well. The Keshi Yena, a sweet and savory casserole dish that’s filled with ground chicken, gouda, and raisins and topped with grilled pineapple, is one of our favorites on the menu, and it’s one of the more unique dishes you’ll find in the city. The prawns are worth sharing as well, and we think about the sweet, perfectly doughy brambleberry bread pudding at least twice a week before we go to bed. You’ll also definitely want to order the house-made fennel bread as a mop to soak up all of the sauces that a majority of the dishes are swimming in.
There are some things, however, that aren’t so great. The grilled gravlax, which is topped with pickled beets and some celery sour cream, is a whole lot at once, and the fish is entirely too salty. Overdoing it on the flavors seems to be a problem here in general, because there’s a similar issue with the rabbit leg dish, Konijn in het Zuur. The leg, which is well-cooked and we imagine could be part of a pretty great plate of food, is swimming in a pool of what tastes like straight vinegar. It’s hard to enjoy when you take one bite and your face looks like the guy on the Sour Warheads wrapper.
All that being said, you can definitely still have a solid dinner here if you know what to order. The space is nice and we’d recommend it for a more casual date or to catch up with the sort-of-friend you keep promising to hang out with and finally got roped into actually making it happen. You definitely don’t need to go out of your way to eat here, but if you live around the corner or spent the last few hours shopping at one of the five plant stores down the street, it’s a perfectly fine place to grab some food.
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Jonnathan’s Handmade Bread
Strong on the fennel, but otherwise a necessary part of any meal here. A ton of dishes here are stews or liquid-based, and having the bread handy is very useful for dipping.
Don’t get this. The salmon is salt-cured, which is good in theory, but entirely too salty in practice.
The Keshi Yena, a casserole off ground chicken, cheese, raisins, and olives and topped with pineapple, is our favorite thing here. It’s sweet and savory at the same time, and is unlike anything else you’ll find in the city. Order it.
Before we tried this dish, we spent a significant amount of time wondering if it would just be a pool of French’s yellow mustard with a hot dog garnish on top. Fortunately, that’s not the case. This dish is actually one of our favorites here, and its example number one of something you’ll want to dip your bread in.
Grilled Head-On Prawns
These are good, and we especially like the creamy, sweet sauce they come swimming in. This is another dish you’ll want that bread for.
Konijn In Het Zuur
This is a rabbit leg dish that’s soaked in a vinegar sauce. In our opinion, the vinegar is way too overpowering and ruins what could otherwise be a great dish.
Brambleberry Bread Pudding
Always end your dinner with this. Their dessert menu changes often, but this is almost always on there and it’s perfect.